Erin Dwyer-Busch, Local Senior Advisor
Safety is the number one factor for most families. Although most people would prefer to stay in their own home, there are significant reasons why that is sometimes not possible. In addition to safety concerns, social engagement, communal meals, scheduled activities and 24/7 supervision are some other good reasons to consider Assisted Living.
Often, it is a process and a series of conversations. Imagine yourself in Mom’s position and don’t try to force anything. A Senior Advisor can help you map out the strategy and even help you talk with Mom.
It varies from state-to-state, even county-to- county in the same state. Costs are usually based on a fee for rent and additional fees for care, based on how much assistance is needed.
The rule of thumb, at this writing, is that Medicare only pays for post-acute skilled nursing care, for a maximum of 100 days if certain requirements are met. Medicaid is a state-administered program. Some states have “waivers” that allow people to spend down their money and then stay in an assisted living facility when Medicaid goes into effect. Your Advisor will be versed in the regulations in your state.
If Dad was enlisted during a period of war (see VA website) chances are that Mom is eligible to receive his benefits. Talk to your Advisor for general guidelines and then contact your local VA office for more information.
The short answer is not necessarily. There are many factors to consider and every care situation is different. Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) can mean a variety of things. It is not necessarily a precursor to Alzheimer’s or other dementias. That said, dementia does not happen overnight and early stages are, in fact, a reason someone may have MCI.
Most likely not. A power of attorney does not give you the right to force someone to move. Usually this requires a Guardianship or Conservatorship. An elder law attorney would be your best source of advice. We can give you referrals to excellent attorneys specializing in laws relating to eldercare.
Hiring a local Senior Advisor or Patient Advocate is your best bet to having “boots on the ground” when your loved one lives far away. Interview several and find someone with whom you feel comfortable. We can help!
Most likely yes but as we stated above, programs vary from state to state. Home ownership is not typically considered when determining eligibility. If she is going to have to sell her home to pay for care, your best option is to consult with a Medicaid planning or elder law attorney. Again, we can refer you to someone competent and compassionate.
99% of the time, there is no cost to the family.
When assisting families with placement, Senior Care Authority is paid a referral fee by the community or care home. That enables us to keep families from incurring any cost. For Eldercare Consulting services outside of placement, we charge an hourly fee. Our Advisors always explain these parameters in detail to new clients.
Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association for a support group schedule (VERY important!), try and carve out time for yourself when you can be free from responsibility or caregiving duties. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help -- self-care is at the top of your to-do list and takes practice! Your well being is important – we all know the benefit of putting on our own oxygen mask first. You may also want to get support from a therapist. Ask us – we work with wonderful providers who can help.
Renea R. / Ballwin, MO